In response to your story [Winlock turns down resolution calling for oil-by-rail reforms], may I suggest that the Winlock City Council could use a little educating about the real risks posed by transporting crude oil by rail? Are the council members aware that 47 people were killed in just such a derailment in Quebec Canada in July of 2013? And are they aware that the Bakken crude oil contained in those tankers is highly flammable and explosive? (NYTimes.com Jan. 25 2014) I suggest that the council members and citizens of Winlock would be well served by googling "oil train derailments" and studying the issue. This is a practice that has increased dramatically in recent years as a way for the industry to avoid the expense and complicated building and environmental processes required to construct pipelines, and is not a proven safe method of transporting crude oil.
As recent violent protests have unfolded in Ferguson, Mo., a national debate has been sparked regarding the use of heavily-armed law enforcement personnel outfitted with surplus military equipment.
While the use of armored vehicles, automatic weapons, flash-bang grenades and other hardware has been previously criticized, including a report published by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on June 1 titled War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing, the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson has brought such issues to the forefront of national discussions, as heavily-armed members of the Ferguson Police Department have confronted protestors reacting to the shooting.
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